Seb Furness was hired as an assistant coach at LSU on Jan. 3, 2020. Furness will work with LSU’s goalkeepers and defensive unit while also taking charge of recruiting and game film analysis.
Furness’ impact was felt immediately as LSU only allowed 20 goals in 19 matches played. LSU secured six shutouts during the 2020-21 season including five in their last eight matches played. Transfer Mollee Swift manned the net for most of the season and recorded a GAA of 0.95 over 17 matches played to go along with 80 saves and a save percentage of .833. She ranked in the top four for SEC goalkeepers in GAA, saves, and save percentage. The 0.95 goals allowed against average from Swift was the sixth lowest in LSU single season history.
Furness made the move to Louisiana from Colorado State University where he has spent the last the last four seasons (2016-19) as an assistant coach while working with the goalkeepers and defensive unit. Off the pitch he acted as the program’s scout man and film analyst going through troves of tape on the opposition to provide his players with scouting reports.
The Rams showed improvement each year that Furness was with the program. In his debut season on staff, Colorado State allowed 36 goals and that number was lowered in each of the next three seasons; the 2019 season saw the Rams give up only 15 goals.
In 2019, Furness guided sophomore goalkeeper Gabi McDonald to a career year that helped the Rams secure their best record in program history. McDonald made 108 saves on the season to go along with a save percentage of .879 to rank No. 10 in the NCAA in that category. The Rams finished the season with a goals averaged against number of .715 which rated as the 25th best in the nation. McDonald had nine shutouts on the season and became the first keeper in program history to earn Mountain West First Team honors and be named to the United Soccer Coaches All-Pacific Team. McDonald set a total of seven single-season CSU records during the 2019 campaign under the tutelage of Furness.
Furness worked with keeper Hunter Peifer during the 2017 and 2018 seasons and helped her become the program’s all-time shutout leader with 11. She was named to the Mountain West All Newcomer team in 2017 becoming the first CSU player to be named to the all-conference squad.
Prior to his stint at Colorado State, Furness served as a volunteer assistant coach University of Nebraska-Omaha in 2015 and as a volunteer assistant at Creighton University in 2014. While in Omaha he also served as the director of goalkeeping and college recruitment for the Sporting Omaha FC Development Academy.
A native of Middlesbrough, England, Furness has been immersed in the sport of soccer his whole life. Growing up he was a member of the Middlesbrough FC. A goalkeeper himself, he played in semi-professional leagues in Northern England before travelling to the states to play at West Texas A&M University from 2008-11. In 2009 he helped his squad to a regional title while racking up the highest save percentage (.889) in all of NCAA Division II soccer that season. Furness played professionally for Tindastoll FC in Iceland for a year and a half before getting into coaching.
Furness and his wife, Erin, have been married since 2013 and have three children – Henry (6), Roy (4), and Orla (born in December 2019).